Understanding the Windshield Repair Process

The difference of a repairing a windshield lies in the quality of the repair, which affects your safety and driving comfort. At Ace Glass, we want you to feel comfortable with repair of your windshield when a replacement isn’t needed. Don’t be caught off guard by a disreputable service technician looking to profit from unnecessary “repairs.”

At Ace Glass we begin with the repair process, we evaluate when and why you should have your windshield repaired. Please take the time to always have your windshield repaired at the first damage it takes, even when it is still a small ding. When you repair early at a considerably lower cost, the chip will fill in, restoring windshield strength and prevent further cracking. If you leave the chip in the windshield, sooner or later it will crack open, developing into a full length crack. The problems with a crack are that it weakens the windshield substantially, is harder to hide cosmetically even with repair.

Don’t let your insurance company try to STEER you towards their preferred shop, or use scare tactics to prevent you from using the glass shop of your choice. Ace Glass Repair accepts and works with all insurance companies and can help you place your windshield/auto glass claim . We are also a member of all auto glass insurance company networks such as Lynx, Harmon, Safelite, Alfa Alliance, Alliance Claims Solutions, Guardian and many more.

Chip repair

We are cleaning and ending the crack from spreading.

We are cleaning and ending the crack from spreading.

A chip, or more commonly called ding, is a small break caused by object impact. The break can be structurally classified as bullseye, star break, and combination. Most other structural breaks are derivations of these three basic types.

In order to properly fix chips, several steps must be followed to ensure the best repair. Beginning with preparation, the technician cleans the surface of the damaged area of loose glass shards. Then the center of the impact point is opened up through drilling to facilitate resin injection. Depending on the type of break, the chip may be further “tapped” to create a reservoir in the glass through which resin can flow easier into harder-to-reach spots.

Now that the chip surface has been prepared, the technician aligns the injector head to the chip entry point, first vacuuming the air out of the break and then following through with resin injection. When the chip has filled, under a curing light, the resin in the chip begins to solidify, bonding the cracked windshield together. The remaining steps involve curing additional layers of resin onto the chip impact point to ensure a smooth surface and polishing to protect the resin from chemicals in the air and wiper washers.

Determine a crack repair or replacement

Crack repair deserves a little more attention. Before you consider a crack repair, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where is the crack?
  • What type of crack is it?
  • How long has it been there?

If the crack is a single long crack (one impact point, one crack) and under 24 inches and not over the driver’s primary viewing area, a crack repair is feasible over a windshield replacement. If there are multiple single long cracks in different locations or if the crack has many legs (one impact point, multiple cracks) then you should eliminate repair from your considerations and go directly to replacement. There has been too much structural distortion to properly repair that. Lastly, if the crack is a stress crack, meaning that it developed without an external break, then either your windshield is defective or your car frame has somehow warped that an abnormal stress pattern is exerted on the windshield.

Applying replacement tape

Next, after a rigorous process of elimination and you determined that your crack belongs to those fixable single long cracks. Cracks less than one month old are repairable. Over that you should consult a repair technician. Factors such as the number of car washes, types of car washes, driving environment and overnight parking locations will affect the cleanliness of your crack.

Resin

One very important element of any repair is the resin. Resin viscosity rating correlates to its strength. For chip repairs, the resin viscosity is lower than the resin viscosity used in crack repairs. The reason being that resin used for chip repairs need to be versatile to go into nooks-and-crannies and less for strength, since the structural damage is very small. For cracks, there are no small spaces to wedge into and it is very important to have stronger resin to fully bond the crack together.

Curing

Curing light plays a crucial role in repair quality and time. The right curing light only will properly cure the resin in a shorter time span. This enables the vehicle owner to assume normal usage of the car right after the repair.

Lastly while a quality repair will improve your windshield cosmetically occasionally and at some angles you may be able to see a thin line and a little bit of visual distortion, but not enough to affect your driving ability. A replacement is always recommended if you have incurred to much stress against the windshield from cracking or underlying stress that has weakened the overall strength of the windshield. Unless you care less about seeing visual blemishes than paying top dollars for a good replacement. Windshield repair is a simple process; all it takes to get a quality repair is knowing what and when to repair and having the right technician. Contact us right now to schedule your automotive glass repair.

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